John Freeman

John Freeman joins Oscar Villalon in conversation to celebrate Freeman’s new literary venture, Freeman’s: The Best New Writing on Arrival, from Grove Press.freeman's

A new anthology from renowned literary critic, former Granta editor, and NBCC president John Freeman, Freeman’s: Arrival features never before published stories by Haruki Murakami, Louise Erdrich, Dave Eggers, Etgar Keret, Lydia Davis, David Mitchell, and others.

We live today in constant motion, traveling distances rapidly, small ones daily, arriving in new states. In this inaugural edition of Freeman’s, a new biannual of unpublished writing, former Granta editor and NBCC president John Freeman brings together the best new fiction, nonfiction, and poetry about that electrifying moment when we arrive.

Strange encounters abound. David Mitchell meets a ghost in Hiroshima Prefecture; Lydia Davis recounts her travels in the exotic territory of the Norwegian language; and in a Dave Eggers story, an elderly gentleman cannot remember why he brought a fork to a wedding.

End points often turn out to be new beginnings. Louise Erdrich visits a Native American cemetery that celebrates the next journey, and in a Haruki Murakami story, an aging actor arrives back in his true self after performing a role, discovering he has changed, becoming a new person.

Featuring startling new fiction by Laura van den Berg, Helen Simpson, and Tahmima Anam, as well as stirring essays by Aleksandar Hemon, Barry Lopez, and Garnette Cadogan, who relearned how to walk while being black upon arriving in NYC, Freeman’s announces the arrival of an essential map to the best new writing in the world.

Oscar Villalon is the Managing Editor of ZYZZYVA. He is is the former book editor at the San Francisco Chronicle and a board member of the National Book Critics Circle. His reviews have appeared on NPR.org and KQED’s “The California Report.”

ZYZZYVA 30th Anniversary Party

Zyzzyva celebrates its 30th Anniversary at City Lights!

hosted by Laura Cogan and Oscar Villalon

with a special presentation by Octavio Solis, featured in the Zyzzyva Winter issue. Zyzzyva is publishing a piece of his called “Retablos,” vignettes of his youth in El Paso. Octavio will be offering a dramatic reading/performance of this work.

Joining Octavio will be two additional Zyzzyva authors, to be announced.

ZYZZYVA’s first issue was published in 1985, under founding editor Howard Junker. In 2011, Laura Cogan became ZYZZYVA’s first new editor in more than 25 years. She and Managing Editor Oscar Villalon make up ZYZZYVA’s editorial team.

The Zyzzyva publishing history is as illustrious as it is groundbreaking. This is the journal that first published Jim Gavin and Jill Soloway, F.X. Toole and Po Bronson—and introduced American readers to Haruki Murakami (in issue No. 13). Their list of contributors includes, among many others, Peter Orner, Kay Ryan, David Guterson, Tom Bissell, Tatjana Soli, Ron Carlson, Luis Alberto Urrea, Amy Hempel, D.A. Powell, Matthew Dickman, Herbert Gold, Daniel Sada, Adam Johnson, Karl Taro Greenfeld, Sandow Birk, Richard Misrach, Aimee Bender, Diego Enrique Osorno, Sherman Alexie, Daniel Handler, Adrienne Rich, Robert Hass, Czeslaw Milosz, Wanda Coleman, Raymond Carver, Tom Barbash, William T. Vollmann, Dagoberto Gilb, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Ed Ruscha, Richard Diebenkorn, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Creeley, and M.F.K. Fisher.

Every issue is a vibrant mix of established talents and new voices, providing an elegantly curated overview of contemporary arts and letters with a distinctly San Francisco perspective.

ZYZZYVA Presents: Tess Taylor and D.A. Powell

In an evening graciously hosted by ZYZZYVA, who recently published their 100th issue, Tess Taylor and D. A. Powell sat with a small group in the poetry room of City Lights to read some of their own poems. Taylor read excerpts from her latest collection, The Forage House, published last year by Red Hen Press, while Powell read a mixture of some of his favorite past poems.

The Forage House is at once a sensuous reckoning with an ambiguous family history and a haunting meditation on national legacy. In it, the speaker unravels a rich and troubling history. Some of her ancestors were the Randolph Jeffersons, one of Virginia’s most prominent slaveholding families. Some were New England missionaries. Some were dirt-poor Appalachians. And one was the brilliant, controversial Thomas Jefferson. Shuttling between legend and story, history and family tale, these poems visit cluttered attics, torn wills, and marked and unmarked graves. Many of the poems were written while Tess was in residence at Monticello, in dialog with and working alongside historians and archaeologists there. Based in years of research and travel, these poems form a kind of lyric journalism, collaged from tantalizing fragments. The Forage House explores how we make stories, and how stories—even painful ones—make us.

Tess Taylor has received writing fellowships from Amherst College, The American Antiquarian Society, The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, The International Center for Jefferson Studies, The Headlands Center for the Arts, and The MacDowell Colony. Her chapbook, The Misremembered World, was selected by Eavan Boland and published by the Poetry Society of America, and her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in The Atlantic, Boston Review, Harvard Review, Literary Imagination, The Times Literary Supplement, and The New Yorker. Her essay, “The Waste Land App” published in The Threepenny Review, won a 2013 Pushcart Prize. She currently reviews poetry for NPR’s All Things Considered and teaches writing at the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in El Cerrito, California. Her book of poems, The Forage House, is published by Red Hen Press.

D. A. Powell is the author of five collections, including Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry. His honors include the Kingsley Tufts Prize in Poetry and an Arts & Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Critic Stephen Burt, writing in the New York Times, said of D. A. Powell: “No accessible poet of his generation is half as original, and no poet as original is this accessible.”  A former Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Poetry at Harvard University, Powell has taught at The University of San Francisco, Columbia University, The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Davidson College. He lives in San Francisco. Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys is Powell’s fifth collection of poems.

Oscar Villalon is the former book editor at the San Francisco Chronicle and a board member of the National Book Critics Circle. His reviews appear on NPR.org and KQED’s “The California Report.” He is the Managing Editor of ZYZZYVA.

ZYZZYVA publishes the best prose, poetry, and visual art produced by West Coast writers and artists—along with the occasional piece from east of California. Since 1985, they’ve published such writers as Sherman Alexie, Raymond Carver, Aimee Bender, Po Bronson, F.X. Toole, Haruki Murakami, Richard Rodriguez, and Daniel Handler; poets such as Kay Ryan, Adrienne Rich, Matthew Zapruder, Czeslaw Milosz, W.S. Di Piero, and Francisco X. Alarcon, and have featured work from such artists as Ed Ruscha, Sandow Birk, Laurie Anderson, Richard Diebenkorn, and Wayne Thiebaud. Visit: www.zyzzyva.org

ZYZZYVA Spring Release Celebration

Come celebrate the release of the latest issue of ZYZZYVA—the Spring issue, No. 97. Since 1985, the acclaimed literary journal focused on the West Coast and headquartered in San Francisco has been publishing the best in fiction, prose, poetry and art.

Local contributors Herbert Gold, Lori Ostlund, Christian Kiefer and Debbie Graber read from their work in the Spring issue. Editors Laura Cogan and Oscar Villalon will host.

Herbert Gold’s novels include Birth of a Hero (1951), The Man Who Was not With It (1956), and Fathers (1967). His nonfiction work includes the book Haiti: Best Nightmare on Earth (2001) and his memoir Still Alive! A Temporary Condition. He lives in San Francisco.

Lori Ostlund’s story collection The Bigness of the World (University of Georgia Press) was awarded the California Book Award for First Fiction and the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award. She lives in San Francisco.

Debbie Graber’s work has appeared in Inlandia: A Literary Journal. She lives in Southern California.

Christian Kiefer’s first novel is The Infinite Tides (Bloomsbury USA), which comes out in paperback in May. He lives in Northern California.

Laura Cogan is the Editor of ZYZZYVZ

Oscar Villalon is the former book editor at the San Francisco. His reviews appear on NPR.org and KQED’s “The California Report.” He is the Managing Editor of ZYZZYVA.

ZYZZYVA publishes the best prose, poetry, and visual art produced by West Coast writers and artists—along with the occasional piece from east of California. Since 1985, they’ve published such writers as Sherman Alexie, Raymond Carver, Aimee Bender, Po Bronson, F.X. Toole, Haruki Murakami, Richard Rodriguez, and Daniel Handler; poets such as Kay Ryan, Adrienne Rich, Matthew Zapruder, Czeslaw Milosz, W.S. Di Piero, and Francisco X. Alarcon, and have featured work from such artists as Ed Ruscha, Sandow Birk, Laurie Anderson, Richard Diebenkorn, and Wayne Thiebaud.

 

ZYZZYVA Poetry All-tars: Dean Rader, Robin Ekiss, and Matthew Dickman Read at City Lights Bookstore

hosted by Laura Cogan & Oscar Villalon

Since 1985, ZYZZYVA has published the work of the best West Coast writers, artists and poets. Tonight, they put the spotlight on poetry, featuring readings from recent contributors Dean Rader, Robin Ekiss, and Matthew Dickman.

Matthew Dickman’s most recent poetry collection is Mayakovsky’s Revolver (Norton). His first full-length collection, All-American Poem, won the May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he is the coauthor with Michael Dickman of 50 American Plays. He is also an Associate Editor for Tin House.

 

Robin Ekiss’s poems and prose have  in The Atlantic Monthly, APR, POETRY, TriQuarterly, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, New England Review, Black Warrior Review, VQR, and elsewhere. Her first book of poems, The Mansion of Happiness, was published by the University of Georgia Press VQR Poetry Series. It won the 2010 Shenandoah/Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers, and was a finalist for the Balcones Poetry Prize, the Northern California Book Award, and  the Commonwealth Club’s California Book Award.

Dean Rader’s debut collection of poems, Works & Days, won the 2010 T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize. His poem “Self Portrait as Dido to Aeneas” was selected by Mark Doty for Best American Poetry, 2012. He’s the department chair of English at the University of San Francisco, and his work has appeared in Boston Review, Triquarterly, and New American Writing, among other publications.

Laura Cogan is the Editor of ZYZZYVZ

Oscar Villalon is the former book editor at the San Francisco Chronicle and a board member of the National Book Critics Circle. His reviews appear on NPR.org and KQED’s “The California Report.” He is the Managing Editor of ZYZZYVA.

ZYZZYVA publishes the best prose, poetry, and visual art produced by West Coast writers and artists—along with the occasional piece from east of California. Since 1985, they’ve published such writers as Sherman Alexie, Raymond Carver, Aimee Bender, Po Bronson, F.X. Toole, Haruki Murakami, Richard Rodriguez, and Daniel Handler; poets such as Kay Ryan, Adrienne Rich, Matthew Zapruder, Czeslaw Milosz, W.S. Di Piero, and Francisco X. Alarcon, and have featured work from such artists as Ed Ruscha, Sandow Birk, Laurie Anderson, Richard Diebenkorn, and Wayne Thiebaud.

visit: www.zyzzyva.org

ZYZZYVA Fall Release Celebration

The ZYZZYVA fall release celebration was held September 30th, 2012 at City Lights.

hosted by Oscar Villalon, Laura Cogan

with readings by Judy Halebsky, Jesse Nathan, Joel Streicker

“The one journal I read cover to cover as soon as it arrives—ZYZZYVA is that smart, that brilliantly curated”—Junot Diaz

In its Fall issue, the venerated San Francisco literary journal expands on its mission of publishing work from the West Coast’s best writers and artists and translators. An “Expats” section features poetry and nonfiction from Luis Alberto Urrea, Edie Meidav, Dagoberto Gilb and John Freeman—all writers who can claim roots on this side of the country. And the stunning photographs of rising international talent (and Bay Area resident) Lucas Foglia are featured.

For its Fall release celebration at City Lights, ZYZZYVA will present readings from contributors Jesse Nathan, Joel Streicker, and Judy Halebsky. Pick up a copy, have some wine, and enjoy some wonderful writing. Hosted by ZYZZYVA Editor Laura Cogan and Managing Editor Oscar Villalon.

Judy Halebsky’s book of poetry “Sky=Empty” won the New Issues Poetry Prize and was a finalist for a California Book Award. Her most recent volume is the chapbook “Space/Gap/Interval/Distance” (Sixteen Rivers Press).

Jesse Nathan is an editor at McSweeney’s and is a doctoral student in English literature at Stanford.

Joel Streicker received a 2011 PEN American Center Translation Fund Grant to translate Samanta Schweblin’s story collection Pájaros en la boca. His translation of acclaimed Colombian writer Tomas Gonzalez’s story “Victor Comes Back” appears in ZYZZYVA’s Fall issue.

visit: http://www.zyzzyva.org/